Today, every company is pursuing more projects than it can successfully handle, and that puts your project at risk of not getting the approval it needs to move forward. So, what can you do to make sure that a governance committee review doesn’t leave you and your project on the outside looking-in? Follow these steps to give your project an advantage over other projects in the queue for review.


  1. Understand and communicate the business case for your project.
    This starts with understanding the business strategy and business drivers that prompted your project in the first place. If you don’t understand what the business is trying to accomplish, you have very little chance of your project hitting the mark.Once the business strategy and drivers are clear, identify very specifically—and quantitatively where possible—exactly how your project will provide benefit relative to the business drivers and business strategy.

    • Work with key people in the business area to develop and review the business case to ensure that it is sound and strong.

    Creating a solid, strong business case is the most important factor in not only getting the project approved, but also in ensuring that the project team clearly understands what is to be accomplished, why, and how it will help the business.

  2. Identify resourcing needs by role.
    Resources, especially people, are always in high demand, and you need to be very clear about the resources that your project will require (people, facilities, equipment, etc.). Clearly identify your resource needs by being specific. Assuming that your request for two technical analysts you will get you what you actually need might be a mistake. Having the right skills, expertise and individuals detailed on a project can greatly improve the probability of project success.
  3. Identify project interdependencies.
    As a good project manager, I expect that you will have identified dependencies within your project as part of your project schedule. With the complex business environment that exists today, you also need to identify dependencies that are outside of your project to make sure that external factors do not inhibit your project’s ability to succeed. For example, if your project requires customer master data to be available—and that is a key deliverable from a different project—you have to identify that interdependency and evaluate the risk to your project if that deliverable does not occur as planned. This allows both projects to understand the dependency and provides greater visibility and increased opportunity to manage and mitigate the risk. The Project Management Office (PMO) will know your project is likely to be well managed when they see the project interdependencies identified.

Additionally, all projects will require identification of project costs, timetables, risks, etc., as is normally requested by governance committees. The above points are not extensive, but are meant to help you differentiate your project from other projects being evaluated.

If you go to the governance committee with these items ready for review, you will not only put yourself in the best position for project approval, but you may also become the model for how other projects should be packaged for governance review.

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